Chicago area record stores past and present (with photos)

Discussion in 'Music, Movie and Hardware Store Guide' started by larry333, Mar 19, 2012.

  1. larry333

    larry333 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Park Ridge
    I miss record stores!

    I REALLY miss goint to the old Rose Records on Wabash.
    Anyone have a photo of it they can post?

    Here are a couple of photos of my favorite record stores in the Chicago area past and present. What are/were yours?

    Attached Files:

    Front Row and reverberationmusic like this.
  2. Myke

    Myke Rock Geezer

    Little Al's on picture, but maybe someone else has one ?

    (1958 born in Chicago -1972 when we moved) Meanwhile, I also have this Google Maps shot of The Music Store at 3121 West Irving Park Road, walking distance from my last house in 1972, where I bought MANY albums from 1969-1972, and they're STILL there.
    Jamfan likes this.
  3. MarkTheShark

    MarkTheShark Forum Resident

    The TOWER pictured above was an old Rose Records location (on Wabash). I miss them both.

    ROCK RECORDS was (I believe) affiliated with ROLLING STONES. They both used to have all these really cool life-size paintings of various musicians (and a few odd characters like Gumby) visible in the outside windows. Rolling Stones (on Irving Park Rd.) had Mick Jagger standing between John Lennon and Ringo Starr suited up for Magical Mystery Tour. I wondered where Paul and George were -- then I went to ROCK RECORDS (on Washington) and saw them there. Most of those figures are gone from Rolling Stones at their Irving Park location -- I still drop in there sometimes, though not nearly as often as I used to. Some of them are still there in the windows on the side of the building facing towards the Harlem-Irving mall -- sorry, the name of the street is escaping me. Some years ago I took a ride over there (I am not exactly sure when this was, but it was some time back) and I saw a window or two all boarded up on the Forest Preserve Drive side of the building. Once they were fixed, the painted musician cut-outs were gone and replaced with various posters. I never heard about what happened, but I assumed someone lost control of their vehicle and drove into the window -- probably ruined whatever was in the displays. Even up to a few years ago, I used to go in there and it seemed like when a new CD or DVD was released, by whoever, in whatever "genre," they'd have at least one copy of it in stock. Now, not so much. I also often managed to grab new releases a few days early on Friday night...not in the last half-decade or so, though. Still some cool stuff to be found!

    (EDIT: I see Gumby in the pic above -- that's the opposite side of the building from wherever whatever happened happened!)

    Anyone here ever go to WAVELENGTH, HEDGWISCH (sp?), FLIP SIDE, BIG DADDY'S, SWOLLEN HEAD? (Swollen Head was in La Grange -- I remember going there ages ago, but it's probably been gone for at least 25 years.)
  4. KeithH

    KeithH Success With Honor...then and now

    Beaver Stadium
    We had Rose Records when I was in graduate school at University of Illinois. They had great prices on new CDs.
  5. boyo

    boyo Forum Resident

    Chicago, IL
  6. larry333

    larry333 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Park Ridge
    Vintage Vinyl in Evanston and The Dusty Groove, Chicago

    Attached Files:

    Hogues and panasoffkee like this.
  7. roscoeiii

    roscoeiii Forum Resident

    No pics, but my regular rotation:
    Hyde Park Records
    Dusty Groove
    Permanent Records (little overpriced in general tho)

    Not as regular but I also love:
    Logan Hardware on Fullerton (old videogames and pinball in the back room too)
    Jazz Record Mart
    Jamfan and reverberationmusic like this.
  8. longdist01

    longdist01 Senior Member

    Chicago, IL USA
    No pictures...few more: Video Beat, Val's Halla, Reckless Records & Record City!
  9. JL6161

    JL6161 Forum Resident

    Michigan, USA

    We had FlipSide out in the 'burbs, and there was Stereo Place in Aurora and dear old beloved Record Revolution of DeKalb. No pictures, alas.
  10. Pizza

    Pizza With extra pepperoni

    I loved going up to Toronto and hitting all the great record stores on Yonge Street, especially Sam the Record Man. Awesome place that is no longer around, like so many other amazing stores that were there. It makes an appearance during the finale in the last Hulk movie. Here's a photo I took of the inside main floor that I shared on another thread here
    Bingo Bongo and sjaca like this.
  11. KevinP

    KevinP Forum introvert

    Spendid memories! Any Jazz Record Mart photos? Wish I had taken some.

    Rose Records?
    Jamfan likes this.
  12. music4life

    music4life Forum Resident

    South Elgin, IL
    Aladdin's Records in Bensenville (1974-1982)-A very small store that was in the former living room of an old house in town. As soon as you walked in the door you were hit with the smell of incense. It was within walking distance of the High School and I spent many an afternoon in there.

    Spin It Records in Addison (1977-1983) A small store in a strip mall in town. I had a friend that worked there and got many promos and posters from him and the other employees. If I didnt like something they'd let me return it...

    Disc Records in Woodfield Mall, Schaumburg (1977-1981) I'm not even sure this was a chain store, but I dont recall seeing another anywhere else. This is the place I discovered there were such things as picture discs, colored vinyl, imports, and other things like satin tour jackets, keychains, etc. It was located beneath "The Alley"...

    I also spent A LOT of time at Rolling Stones, Rose Records in Schaumburg, Tower in Schaumburg and Bloomingdale. It seems at one time Schaumburg was like the mecca for record stores in the area. Besides Tower and Rose there was also Sound Warehouse (I met Walter Payton buying CDs in there once), Best Buy also had the biggest store in the area there when it first opened. Thier newer stores now would fit in the music department back then. There was also an indie store at the intersection of Golf and Roselle roads but I cant recall the name of it. There was also Bogarts in Addison. In the late 70s early 80s you could spend a day trying to hit all the record stores in the area but there's no way you could do it.

    Not a store, but did anyone ever attend the annual ALS benefit record sale in Old Orchard Mall? Except for a couple of years, I attended every one from 1977 until it stopped in 2000. It was organized by Dick Clark and was a week long in the beginning. But it got so successful that it eventually stretched over a two week period. I would usually end up going twice since they were constantly putting out different items that people had donated. Man, I miss those days!
    LaserKen, Irishcc and Jamfan like this.
  13. Trebor

    Trebor Forum Resident

    Chicago, IL, USA
    I think the Schaumburg store was called Sounds Good, and it was owned by Rose. The only indie store I remember near Golf & Roselle was The Turntable. The husband & wife owners (Bob & Carol) moved the business to Arlington Heights and then not long after that they both died in a murder suicide over a pot bust at their home.
  14. music4life

    music4life Forum Resident

    South Elgin, IL
    The Turntable sounds familiar, that might be the one I'm thinking of.
  15. pbuzby

    pbuzby Senior Member

    Chicago, IL, US
    Moved to Chicago in 1997. Of the stores now gone I used to visit I see Quaker Goes Deaf and Dr. Wax have yet to be mentioned. No photos, sorry.
    Wingsfan2012 likes this.
  16. Adam9

    Adam9 Senior Member

    Toronto, Canada
    :cheers:Thanks for that great pic! It brings back many memories.
  17. Kustom 250

    Kustom 250 Active Member


    Everyone ought to visit JRM at least once.

    I used to work across the street from the Rose on Wabash. Went there and the Rock Records downtown multiple times a week.

    There were a few shops closer to my house near Irving Park and Milwaukee that I went to but can't recall the names of.
    Jamfan likes this.
  18. Pizza

    Pizza With extra pepperoni

    It was a great place! I realized after posting the OP was looking for just the Chicago area. Humble apologies.
  19. larry333

    larry333 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Park Ridge
    jazz record mart neon window sign...

    Attached Files:

  20. Sunset Sam

    Sunset Sam Forum Resident

    Irvington, IN
    Lived in Chicago (IN Chicago...not the 'burbs....let's clarify that ;) ) up through 1998. I used to hit up the various 2nd Hand Tunes stores often. The one in Evanston on Dempster is still there, though it has moved several times on the same block (at their apex they had TWO stores on the same block, one was vinyl and the other was CDs & tapes) and they changed ownership a few times. There were also a couple of them on Clark (one vinyl, one CDs/tapes) that I'd venture to, one in Hyde Park.....and I believe one on Halsted for a brief period of time. Django's bought them all in the 2000s and may still have ownership.

    When the 2nd Hand Tunes on Clark started to go south, the 2nd store was bought by one of the employees and became a great used record store of it's own. My mind is blanking on the name though....arrrgh! And just a few doors down from both of them was Video Beat which also had some VERY rare LPs and lotsa bootleg videos lining the walls.

    Of course, there was the leather-clad pretentious owner of Vintage Vinyl that overpriced everything...I went in there to browse and laugh, but did buy the Nesmith import CDs on Awareness at the time (and occassionally pick up a copy of Record Collector).

    Remember When on Ogden, which sadly just went out of business, was one of the last great used record stores we had there.

    Gosh, there were so many others on the north side....Wax Trax, Reckless, Music Exchange (?) on Cicero btwn Irving & Montrose (they are still there), there was a place that was right on the corner of Lincoln & Paulina that was sometimes decent. Another place on Morse near the lake that I can't remember the name of either. I think I need to find a copy of the Chicago Yellow Pages from 1990 or so, then all the names would rush right back (obviously!).

    Beverly is still there on the south side on Western. Problem is, it's still the same picked-over inventory from 20 years ago, it never gets replenished. And the LPs...heh...some aren't even for sale! They will let you pay them to make a copy of the music. It's like 1983 in there!

    Now, when you are talking NEW record stores, the biggest were Rose Records (on Halsted or Clark, I forget which) and the Peaches (later Coconuts) chain. My sister worked at Peaches/Coconuts from '86 - '89 and I got all my records using her discount. She worked at the store located at Peterson and it's a mattress store.
    reverberationmusic likes this.
  21. music4life

    music4life Forum Resident

    South Elgin, IL
    Just found out that a small used vinyl store thats been around for years is now gone. I had only just discovered Shooting Stars Records in Carpentersville a couple of years ago. I was going to make a trip out there a couple of days ago and when I tried calling, the operator said it was no longer in service.

    DOUBTINGTHOMAS29 Forum Resident

    Portland, OR
    Any photos of Wax Trax?
    uzn007 likes this.
  23. Lpone

    Lpone Forum Resident

    Nice here's some more
    Sorry it's not Chicago .

    Attached Files:

    sjaca likes this.
  24. philly67

    philly67 Forum Resident

    Lots of my favorite places here, always drop into Dusty Groove when i'm in Chicago, Reckless used to be a stop of mine too. And i dearly miss going into Sam The Record man, thanks for those pictures, they really made me smile.
  25. br6388

    br6388 Forum Resident

    Homewood, Illinois
    My record store back in the day was Hegewisch Records in Calumet City (southern suburbs). Miss the annual/bi-annual record sales.
    Wax Trax was a big favorite too. Loved the punk and import selection they had. :righton:

    Any pics?
    Front Row likes this.

Share This Page